§31-15A-5. Requirements for project funding assistance; review of project preliminary applications by council.

(a) No project sponsor may apply for or receive any loan, loan guarantee, grant or other funding assistance for a project or infrastructure project from any state infrastructure agency (i) unless the project sponsor requiring the funding assistance first submits a completed preliminary application to the council on the form prepared for such purpose by the council pursuant to section four of this article, and (ii) except as may be recommended by the council after consideration of the preliminary application: Provided, That any project sponsor which has an infrastructure project or project with either acceptable bids or all funding in place on the effective date of this act is not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

 (b) The council shall, within thirty days of receipt of each completed preliminary application submitted to it, review the preliminary application and either (i) make a written recommendation as to the infrastructure project or project financing, in terms of the kind, amount and source of funding, which the project sponsor submitting the application should pursue and which the state infrastructure agency or agencies should consider an appropriate investment of public funds, or (ii) if the council determines that (1) the proposed project or infrastructure project is not eligible for funding assistance from any state infrastructure agency, or (2) the proposed project or infrastructure project is not otherwise an appropriate or prudent investment of state funds, the council shall recommend that the project sponsor not seek funding from any state infrastructure agency. A project sponsor shall include the preliminary application and the council's recommendations in any application to a state infrastructure agency.

(c) The council shall provide a copy of its recommendation with respect to each preliminary application, together with a copy of the preliminary application, to all appropriate state infrastructure agencies, which shall take into account the council's recommendations with respect to a project or infrastructure project before taking any action with respect to the project. No state infrastructure agency shall take any action inconsistent with the recommendation of the council unless the governing body of the agency, or the head of the agency if it has no governing body, expressly finds and determines that the recommendation is not in the best interest of the state or the area in which the proposed infrastructure project or project is to be located.

(d) In reviewing each preliminary application, the council shall use the engineering, financial and technical expertise of the respective staffs of the state infrastructure agencies represented on the council so as to recommend for funding those projects or infrastructure projects which are consistent with the purposes and intent of this article and with the policies and priorities of this state generally. The council may include in its findings a recommendation that a state infrastructure agency consider technical reports on the project prepared by other infrastructure agencies or by any federal agency.